Archive for August, 2009

GSU brings life to Downtown

GSUs Aderhold Learning Center anchors life on Broad Street

GSU's Aderhold Learning Center anchors life on Broad Street

I love when college starts in the late summer.  When I was in undergrad, it meant college football games – now I have to settle for catching my team on TV.  However, I started my penultimate semester at GSU for my MBA on Monday and can’t help but think about how much GSU has changed downtown.

Downtown isn’t awful when school is out, but it feels a little empty.  There is all this infrastructure and all these buildings, but it doesn’t really feel like anyone is home.  Downtown feels so different when school is in – there are just thousands more young people walking around.  Broad Street during lunch time is fantastic.  Downtown is alive, finally. (more…)

open thread: where’s the debauchery at this weekend?

it’s friday afternoon and that means we want to hear what the heck you are up to this weekend?

debauchery? revolution? strange mystical ceremonies?

or are you just planning on relaxing at home after a 14 mile run and eating some incredible cupcakes like yours truly?

let us know….

Curious about your local crime stats? Here’s a resource.

The AJC’s website has created this tool that allows Atlantans the privilege (privilege?) of using a simple drop down menu to choose their neighborhood and see its recent crime statistics.  Go ahead and click the hyperlink.  It’ll make you look like the local “informed citizen” at that cocktail party you’re attending tonight.

I knew my neighborhood had about 250 break-ins last year.  Now I can stay up-to-date with who’s getting robbed and where!

Enjoy…

Dreams for Atlanta

Atlanta is a confused, young city working hard to become something. Atlanta is like a kid who wants the promotion, thinks he’s ready but isn’t there yet.

I got to thinking, if I could have a few wishes to make this town truly world class, what would they be? Let’s have fun and see what we can imagine?

The first few are obvious. #1, a good public transit system. Sure MARTA does the best it can with what it has but we can all admit it’s far from world class. So first would be an outstanding public transit system on par with New York, San Francisco and London.

#2 would be for Atlanta to be a must stop for all musicians. So often I’ll look at artist’s tour dates and Atlanta is nowhere to be found. However you’ll always see New York, LA, Chicago, San Francisco or even Miami. I know there are routing and expense issues. I’m dreaming here. So every act I want to see should come through Atlanta!

Right now #3 would be to have a safer city. Crime plagues our city at present. Since January headlines are often filled with sad news of someone being wronged and even worse, murdered. There will always be crime, but it shouldn’t be this bad.

What are some dreams you have for Atlanta? What would make Atlanta world class for you?

pretty damn snazzy iphone app from regator.

we always like to give a bit of a shout out to atlanta-based business that we particularly like, and we are not doubt fans of the atlanta-based startup regator, a blog aggregation and filtering service. we particularly like the fact that regator hand picks the blogs fed into it’s service, which while potentially reflecting bias on the part of the fliterers (although if it does it’s indsicernable to us), has the great affect of ensuring that junk stays out of the feed.

either way, reagtor launched it’s iphone app today (download here) and we are more than impressed. it’s easy to navigate with a crisp ui. additionally they enabled landscaping, which is a huge bonus for any app that wants to build web browsing into the app (ahem tweetdeck) and seems on first use (we played around with it extensively on the bus this morning) to be almost bug free (again, amazing for a first cut iphone app.)

kudos to regator on a job well done!!!

in other atl web start-up news we are intrigued by spitter.com which looks to be a regator-type aggregator for sports combined with social-networking forum thingys. since it’s atlanta-based and sports oriented we’ll probably check it out and if we aren’t too lazy we might give you a report.

also, we don’t know why we are writing in the first person plural. we pledge to stop this immediately upon conclusion of this post.

we promise.

2 Years, 6 People and 30-40 Rounds of Ammo.

Two years ago I wrote about a robbery that took place on Dekalb Avenue while six people – minding their own business and having a lovely evening with friends – were showered with gunfire.

Two years since I wrote.

TWO. YEARS.

Today at 10am the defendants will be entering guilty please in courtroom 4E.

Defendants Tremaine Lovelace and Lanorris Moore will be entering guilty pleas on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 10:00 in court room 4E before Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams.

These two defendants are charged with the August 25, 2007 home invasion and armed robbery at 992 Dekalb Avenue in Inman Park:

Six couples were sitting in the residence when they heard gunshots and realized that the residence was the target of gunfire. The couples then tried to escape by jumping from a second story balcony. Three of the people were seriously injured during the escape. Thirty to forty rounds of ammunition were found in the residence when the police arrived. The two men were apprehended immediately at the Inman Park Marta Station.

Please come and support our victims as they take this important step in seeking justice.

Sharla Jackson
Community Prosecutor
Zone 5

My proposal for punishment: maybe we let those six folks who were fired upon share thirty to forty rounds and fire back. I’m just sayin’: if we still lopped hands off for shoplifting…

An unpleasant but familiar refrain. And, an opportunity!

tractor ride

Saturday evening at about 9pm, one of my neighbors went for a walk about the neighborhood.  As he hit the intersection of Delaware and Woodland Avenues, a Honda Civic pulled up.  A young man got out, aimed a rifle at my neighbor, and demanded his wallet.  The perpetrator drove away and out of the area before police could catch him.

As one who frequently goes for runs around the neighborhood at that hour, this news was particularly alarming to me.  It’s also a bit ironic that I felt more comfortable going for evening runs at Balad Air Base in Iraq–where mortar attacks are a nightly occurrence–than I feel jogging within a 1-mile radius of our house in SE Atlanta.

In an effort to “take back the streets,” our neighborhood has been gathering on Saturday evenings by Ormewood Park Presbyterian Church from about 7pm-9pm.  Children and dogs are encouraged to come.  Last night, there was a tractor for the kids to ride, and City Council candidates came to discuss their positions and hear from local voters.  This Saturday, the group will gather at 6:30pm, and the tractor will be back.  Please consider participating!

Chazz Southern Cooking

Last Thursday some friends and I went out to eat in East Atlanta. We went to meet at Blue Frog Cantina but there was a 30 minute wait. We weren’t up for that so we went across the street to The EARL. Every table was taken. We tossed around a few other ideas and then I mentioned the new southern cooking restaurant, Chazz, on the corner of Flat Shoals and Glenwood.

Chazz is at 517 Flat Shoals Ave. next door to Club 529. I’m a little anxious for Chazz because it’s in “that spot.” You know the spot where nothing ever stays open long, where a new business opens and closes every 3 months?

If Chazz keeps doing what they did on Thursday then I’m optimistic for their future. We asked who Chazz was, Chazz is the owner’s son.

As soon as we walked in we were welcomed warmly and the wait staff quickly set up a 4 top for us. I got the feeling I was at someone’s home, not a restaurant. Old soul music from Al Green and James Brown played. A birthday party was happening in the middle of the restaurant and they were having a great time, laughing and shouting.

The waiter came over and took our orders. I love soul food so everything on the menu looked good, so I asked for his recommendation. He asked if I had any diet restrictions and I said no. He recommended the pork ribs, with candied yams and mac ‘n cheese. I know this is heresy to some but I’m not a big fan of yams. So I opted for the collard greens.

It only took a little over 10 minutes for our food to arrive. I had 5 ribs covered in sweet BBQ sauce. The meat fell off the bone. The mac n’ cheese was delicious. The collard greens were my least favorite. I don’t like my greens chopped, I like them in long strands and with a little kick of spice. Each plate also came with cornbread which was also excellent.

After we ate the owner came over and talked to us. He asked if everything was ok. He put his hands on my shoulder and gave me firm, caring squeeze. He genuinely appreciated our business. All 4 of us were happy with Chazz.

I loved the personal touch at Chazz. Again it feels like you’re at someone’s home, not a restaurant in the middle of East Atlanta. My meal was only $10 and I left a $2 tip. So for $12 I got a great meal and great service. I highly recommend checking out Chazz when you’re in the mood for some great soul food.

marta service reductions go into effect tomorrow.

dammit.

it’s finally here. the consequences of the state legislature’s failure to act to secure additional funding from marta are finally here. i do very much hope this is not the beginning of a death-spiral where decreased service leads to decreased ridership leading to decreased revenue and repeat.

also, i dream of a day when our leaders realize vibrant public transportation is a key component of a truly world class city, and by extension a prosperous georgia, and that is should exist as a public good not a money-making endeavor and fund it appropriately.

sigh, okay /soapbox.

anyway, marta service cuts are scheduled to begin this saturday, tomorrow, including the elmination of a the #23 and #182 bus routes and cuts in frequency to many bus routes and train service. especially hit will be off-peak train service.

you can check here to see what routes are affected and how.

fortunately for me at least, both of my main bus routes have survived intact for now.

truly sad and awful story.

this story recently reported in the ajc absolutely punched me in the gut:

Just 12 days after she and her family moved to Clarkston from Nepal for a “better life,” 6-year-old Sukmaya Mager was dead, run down by an SUV driver illegally passing a stopped MARTA bus, police said.

Six-year-old Sukmaya Mager died Wednesday of her injuries after being struck by a vehicle when she got off a MARTA bus. A Newton County man allegedly passed the bus on the wrong side of the road, hitting the Clarkston girl.

“Today would have been her first day at Indian Creek Elementary,” Clarkston Police Chief Tony Scipio told reporters Wednesday, just hours after Sukmaya died of head and internal injuries.

Her parents and her 10-year-old brother, refugees relocated to the Atlanta suburb, are in “disbelief”, the chief said. They don’t understand U.S. laws and culture, they do not speak English and they have no relatives here, according to Scipio.

so much about it just saddens me. an innocent little girl, leaving a war-torn past behind. starting out here in the land of opportunity and being killed by that most quintessential of american sins; impatience.

maybe it’s because i ride marta almost every day that this affected me so much. i see it too; people who fly around marta buses, because they just can’t be incovneienced to wait an extra three or four minutes while the bus stops to let people off. maybe it’s because i walk a lot to, and have almost been run down in crosswalks by people not looking coming off of stop signs.

i don’t know for sure, but this story really, really affected me.

i found out about it from creative loafing author andy nouraee on his twitter feed, and andy dug up some information on the international rescue committee here in atlanta that was responsible for resettling this family and sent it along to me. i made a donation this morning is sukmaya mager’s honor, hoping that maybe some of that money can be used to help that family in this tragedy.

one thing to note as well, everyone the irc settles is here in this country legally as a refugee. the us accepts thousands of war refugees from all over the world every year.

maybe you could consider doing the same.

here is the link again:

international rescue committee in atlanta

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